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Handling Hecklers

Whenever you get up in front of an audience to speak, there’s a chance you’ll either get heckled or someone will attempt to hog the floor by asking too many questions. Here are some tips for maintaining control of the situation with poise and aplomb.

Manage your thoughts and emotions
You need to stay in a position of power. If you lose your cool in this situation, you lose … period. Therefore, you can’t let the heckler get under your skin and make you angry or upset. Stay calm so that you can respond, if necessary, without emotion.

Go with it
Believe it or not, letting the heckler have his or her say may actually be the best way to prevent the heckling throughout your presentation. Hecklers can be overly sensitive to being shut down. Let the heckler feel listened to and the heckling will stop. Just balance that with the needs of the audience … don’t let the heckler go on for way too long.

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